The SEO community is not happy.
In an interesting, but very flawed article:
Dan Cristo is bemoaning the fact the “organic” listings are now being pushed below the fold.
According to Cristo, “Any SEO who sees this should be outraged!” and he proposes the SEO world revolts against the big G.
“What would happen if all of a sudden all websites blocked Google’s crawlers?”, he asks.
Let me Address A Few Things
#1: Things are much worse for SEO’s than Cristo claims. He points out that, “This is only happening on a very small percentage of queries right now”.
The problem is that it’s happening for commercial queries – which make up a small % of overall searches. And it’s those commercial searches SEO clients want to be ranked for.
#2: SEOs have no business being outraged. Google is a web publisher just like any other web publisher. And, as a web publisher, get to decide what to put on their web pages (within the limits of the law, of course).
#3: The idea that website owners will band together and exclude themselves from Google is failing to understand basic game theory.
#4: He’s forgetting about all the sites that don’t use SEO – and, therefore, aren’t bothered by this issue.
If you were to take out the top 20 sites from most commercial searches – the ones that are losing out by being pushed below the fold – and moved all the rest of the sites up 20 places… so the site that used to be #21 is now #1, would the organic rankings really be any worse?
SEO isn’t a meritocracy – it’s about getting a site ranked, whether it deserves to be on page 1 or not.
The only exception to this are huge companies people want to find in the rankings – but, of course, those companies have a duty to shareholders and I doubt, “We cut our sales in order to make Google a better place” would play out well at the shareholders’ meeting.
So, as much as it would amuse me to see SEOs going on strike, I think they’re sensible enough to realise they don’t have any bargaining power. They need Google more than Google needs them.